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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 23 Aug 2018 (Thursday) 19:02
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silvermesa1
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Aug 23, 2018 19:02 |  #1

How should a portrait hobbyist get started with flags? I currently have 2 monolights and 2 speedlights. Considering buying my first flag. What size is most appropriate for portraits? Should I start with 1 or 2?

I have Matthews C Stands with a knuckle to attach to. Considering Matthews but am open to other brands or options.

Thank You!

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …ws_169062_24x36​_Flag.html (external link)
https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …ws_169059_18x24​_Flag.html (external link)




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited 6 months ago by Left Handed Brisket. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 23, 2018 19:50 |  #2

43 bucks for a flag is insane.

Go to the craft store and buy some black foam core for 5 bucks. An A clamp is 2 bucks.


As for the size question, that's like asking how long is a string. Placement is a big determining factor, if it is close to the light it only has to be a few inches longer than the modifier.

Edit: sorry if that sounds harsh, not my intention. My kids are driving me nuts and won't get ready for bed!!!


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Angmo
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Aug 24, 2018 01:49 |  #3

Consider barn doors as well.


Nikons, Rolleiflexes, Elinchroms, Billinghams

  
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RicoTudor
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Aug 24, 2018 01:52 |  #4

I own one of the Matthews 24"x36" flags because it's well made and is my standard size for panels and frames. Naturally, it fits perfectly into a Hollywood knuckle. The bare frame costs just $21 if you want to cover it yourself but that won't save any money unless materials and your time are free. I also have two Matthews Mini Meat Axe flags that measure 24"x48" which are heavier and more expensive but get the most use in my studio. Since my space is all white, I have many ways to block light (flags, V-flats, loose velvet, 20' black sweep) but a 24"x36" flag is perfect for upper body and head shots. Get two for starters.


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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silvermesa1
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Aug 24, 2018 05:53 as a reply to  @ RicoTudor's post |  #5

Rico,
In what situations do you find your 24x48 flags most useful? Should I consider 1-24x48 plus 1-24x36 or 2-24x36 as a start?




  
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ThreeHounds
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Aug 24, 2018 06:58 |  #6

Like LHB stated, black foamcore is a cost effective way to make various size flags. I also have a 24"x25 yard roll of matte black cinefoil that I use to cut irregular shaped flags and cookies.


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RicoTudor
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Aug 24, 2018 08:04 |  #7

silvermesa1 wrote in post #18691523 (external link)
In what situations do you find your 24x48 flags most useful? Should I consider 1-24x48 plus 1-24x36 or 2-24x36 as a start?

For head-and-shoulders portrait, the 24x36 are perfect. Two flags will let you shape the light in two directions like left and right sides, or one side and one overhead. Alternatively, use one as a b/g: these things are black. The elongated 24"x48" Meat Axes are more useful for tabletop as I tend to aim down the line. I find both maneuverable enough in my shoot space. If you consider flags as elements of a subtractive lighting scheme, then the subject being shadowed and the direction of the light will dictate the size and aspect ratio of the flag needed. You can assemble your inventory from there.


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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F2Bthere
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Aug 25, 2018 22:30 |  #8

It is true that which flag you need depends on the use.

For portraits, I find the 18x24 would almost never get used. A 24x36 is pretty useful. A good reason to get a professional frame is to be able to switch between opaque black and nets or scrims which cut light.

Having said that, I get far more use out of v-flats, which is two 4x8' (yes, feet) pieces of foamcore, hinged in the middle with gaffer tape, black on one side, white on the other. They stand by themselves and block or reflect light with human sized subjects very well. An extremely versatile bit of gear.

And, even though I have flags, if I am in my studio, I am more likely to grab a piece of board or foamcore (black or white) than to use a flag.

I use flags if I need a scrim (net) or to take on location (Road Rags or Fast Flags).


C&C always welcomed...
On my images, of course, and on my words as well--as long as it's constructive :).
https://www.instagram.​com/storyinpictures_co​m/ (external link)

  
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